Lawyer for secretive source of $200k to back Idaho ed laws proposes refund, call it good

In a letter to Secretary of State Ben Ysursa, attorney Christ Troupis says Ysursa's demand that Education Voters for Idaho disclose sources of money spent on TV ads by an affiliated group in support of Propositions 1, 2 and 3 has "severely infringed" his client's First Amendment rights.

Troupis wrote Friday that the group formed in August will not disclose its donor or donors, saying it is a "social welfare organization" under Section 501(c)(4) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and exempt from Idaho's Sunshine law. He also said Ysursa is selectively enforcing the law, citing contributions from two teachers unions, the Idaho Education Association and National Education Association to the campaign opposing the propositions.

It appears Troupis suggests a compromise, hoping to head off a lawsuit threatened by Ysursa to force disclosure of who paid for $200,350 in ads. Last month, Education Voters for Idaho transferred the money to its affiliate, Parents For Education Reform. In turn, Parents for Education Reform paid for the advertising. The source or sources of the money remain secret. The Statesman reported the transfer and Ysura's concerns last week.

Troupis suggests having Parents for Education Reform return the money it received from Education Voters for Idaho and asks Ysursa if that will cause him to stop demanding disclosure.

"It appears that Parents for Education Reform (PFER) meets your requirements for disclosure if it refunded to EVI all contributions EVI made during the 2012 election cycle," Troupis writes. "In that event, pursuant to Idaho Code 66-6607, all contributions and expenditures by PFER would be accounted for in future Campaign Financial Disclosure Reports. Please advise us, in writing, if this course of action is acceptable to you for complete resolution of the matter."

If not, Troupis says his clients will fight back in court. "If necessary, we are prepared to defend those rights, and establish the validity, though we hope and expect that a resolution will avoid such action."

A legal fight could delay disclosure until after the Nov. 6 election. Ysursa says such a delay would undermine the Sunshine law, which was passed by 78 percent of Idaho voters in 1974.

Tim Hurst, Ysursa's chief deputy, said Friday afternoon that a decision has yet to be made on how to proceed.

Troupis, of Eagle, is a former GOP Senate candidate who successfully sued Republican Ysursa over Idaho's open primary, prompting the Legislature to enact the new closed primary law.

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So they are saying 'we dont

So they are saying 'we dont want people to know the real source of this money so we will just give it back and pretend like it never happened'?

It's because

It's because they're so proud of themselves.
Dale Keys

Sounds fishy...

They don't want to comply with the law.
I wonder why that could be?

Luna and his campaign donors are proving once and for all they are not trustworthy with education reforms.

VOTE NO ON PROPS 1, 2, 3!!!

People donate to churches without public disclosure...

Way more than to this. That is all that sounds fishy.

It's the Unions that I don't trust...they have lied the entire time and have you believing them

What exactly is the non-profit mission of the EVI?

They claim to be an organization like the IEA, yet it appears their sole purpose for forming is to support the Luna reform laws. Unless they have some other activities, reason for existance, they are nothing more than a PAC and should have to follow the same rules as other PACs.

Like it or not, the IEA has a variety of other activities that they have been sponsoring for years. The mission of the IEA goes far beyond these three ballot initiatives and will continue after the election. They also have a separate PAC, which reports the names of all donors.

I am interested to see the explanation that the EVI gives to demonstrate they are anything more than a PAC.


You said it perfectly.

The IEA is not supporting anything...

But their pockets. Making you think they are doing more.

Look at the money given, and where the money has gone. They don't support education! They support the union structure and could careless about the kids.

They're no better than the people they're fighting.

Teachers are the union

You realize that the union is just teachers, counselors, librarians and other school employees right? All that money that is being spent was given by the educators who chose to join the union.

no better....but they are not hiding

I'm not saying they are better or worse, just that we know who they are and what their agenda is.

They support educators

I see that you have a thing about the union, but your complaints don't make sense. The union supports the people who do the work of educating children. People who "careless" about children don't go into the profession.

There is no hidden agenda, such as there apparently is for the donors who are the subject of this thread.

i'm guessing...

That for profit K-12, Inc. is a major source of the donation.

Just another

Reason to vote no on all three.

This and the fact......

The "tea party" endorse them pretty much sums up the correct choice to vote NO

Time for the IRS

to drop the hammer on these sleaze bags. Don't let them bluff you Ben, demand accountability and disclosure.

the Sunshine law, which was passed by 78 percent of Idaho voter

Everyone seems to have forgotten that the voters passed Term Limits for politicians too. ........

I agree that someone should probably file a complaint with IRS

If their primary activity is political action, they are probably violating their non-profit status, aren't they?

Return the money so they can

Return the money so they can spend it on the campaign themselves and then tell the State to stick it when asked to report.

they're going to give the money *back*?

They haven't spent it yet?

They must be scared *spitless* in that case of what might come out.


Turns out it's Mr. Burns..

This is exactly the type of activity that makes voters bitter

and apathetic. Secret big money to sway public policy. This organization knows what the reporting laws are and purposefully found a loophole to try to sneak around them. If they get away with it, what's next? This isn't good for the election process and it isn't good for Idaho.

Even if they were similar to the IEA, we know who the members of the IEA are...teachers and school employees. For the most part, we know where they are coming from. We have no idea what special interest group is behind the EVI.

A lawsuit?

Any way you look at it if there is a lawsuit it'll be after the election. Kinda like Luna saying one thing to get elected then another afterwards. Best and easiest thing is to vote no on all 3 then get teachers, admin and parents along with the public to come up with something solid for students. I really believe this should be in the teachers, parent and publics hands rather than the politicians.


Mateo, you just make too much sense sometime. You'd have made a great politician in an arena that values common sense. Unfortunately, that's not here...

Can't blame them...

for wanting their money back. The "yes" side is looking more and more like a lost cause. I'd want my 200K samolians back, too, if I could get it.



Dang, I hate when Republicans act like


They do it all the time....just won't ever admit it.

I would be amused if it weren't so maddening.

Elected officials?

Everyone keeps talking about dirty politicians. Didn't we elect them to represent us? Now we say Luna is not leading and should have done something else, but he's not up for recall. We could have made that happen. I don't know what the great fear is with the propositions. I hear people talking about how schools aren't meeting the needs of students and need to change so when change is proposed people freak out and say "no" let the people we don't think will actually change (teachers) decide what the change should be. Seems like we flip flop worse than the politicians we claim to despise. The NEA/IEA don't want things to change because their money will go away, that's all they care about, not your kids. At least the Propositions try to do something. Idaho is at the bottom nationally for education. Standardized tests are driving the train. Politicians are getting elected to office in droves because they claim they will "fix" education. They all declare local control and then tie so many strings to funding that it can't ever be local control. All sides say they love teachers and then kick the crap out of them with legislation. I am going to vote yes on the Propositions because I have read them and studied the statistics for similar legislation that has been highly successful in other states for helping kids. Most people watch the political ads and decide based on who's in the room with them. True enough, we need way better leadership than Luna, but we elected him and deserve what we got. I think educators will be able to take the funding, technology, and changes to education proposed in the Propositions and make schools better for our kids. They've taken every piece of stupid legislation passed by our elected officials and made it work. At least these make an effort to get our kids into the 21st Century.

further study

Since you've taken the time to read the laws, perhaps you would also read the testimony of the IEA presidents before the germane committees and JFAC over the past six years then tell me again how the IEA is only about money and not about the public education system that their five thousand members (teachers and support staff) work in and the students they serve.


Just how can the Adverts that have already be distributed / aired / viewed be refunded. They paid for a moment in time. How can that even be "refunded"?

You know,

It's like running a red light, you stop, back up, tell the officer that caught you, "I'm sorry," and everything is ok.

But didn't they already attempt a Wreck

Law requires me to carry proof of insurance, and to identify myself, should I encounter an officer.




I thought all the ephemeral media was to somehow alter time, or control viewer's minds, as Chris Tropis expects them to react. Magical thinking of such seems to be typical from "Modern", Idaho Republican Party

But this is Idaho. Ben is an old timer, an Old Republican, having long earned trust, despite being an elected official.

Will the young Attorney General Wasden work for the People, or the new Party?

Were we not the Party that championed access over elitism?

What's up with my Party? Didn't we once stand for transparency? Honesty? Were we not the Party that championed access over elitism?

Thank you Mr. Ysursa for standing in gap. For insisting on transparency regarding the mysterious $200,000 contribution to the apparent front organization, the Nonprofit Education Voters of Idaho designed to hide contributions.

Why did Nonini deep-six the Cronin legislation that would have created transparency, protected Idaho Citizens from bad actors in the troubled For-profit education industry. Wny did my Party deep-six Ethics Legislation? How much money did For-profit education companies Apollo Group/University of Phoenix, K-12 Corporation, etc pay Idaho Legislators the past two sessions?

Parents, Teachers, Students, and yes, even the teachers Union earned our trust.
Lobbyists, Legislators, and the trouble For-profit education industry did not.

Abramoff: "Fire up the jet baby, we're going to El Paso!!" Mike Scanlon: "I want all their MONEY!!!" Email interchange between Jack Abramoff and Mike Scanlon, February 6, 2002


These people need to stop hiding behind the veil of secrecy and stand up publicly for their beliefs, like everyone on this site - including me.


Parents For Education Reform mailing address: P.O. Box 9925 Boise, Idaho 83707
Education Voters of Idaho mailing address: P.O. Box 9925 Boise, Idaho 83707

Sooo, do you not think that

Sooo, do you not think that parents are capable of educating voters! So they are the same po box; big deal. I share a mailing address with others doesn't mean we are one and the same.

When you awaken

from you nap, read the article and try again. You know, about the $200k being shuttled around that no one wants to talk about where it came from?

Wasn't this a movie?

Show me the money?


Celebrating five years and one screen ID >|<